Skip to comments.What went wrong with the Arab World?
Posted on 08/22/2003 2:52:05 AM PDT by kattracks
During the course of the 20th century it became abundantly clear that things had gone badly wrong in the Arab world. When compared with many Third World countries, Arab countries had fallen way behind. They had become poorer, weaker and more politically fragmented. The dominance of the West is clear for all to see, invading every aspect of Arab public and private life.
In the past, Arab modernisers concentrated their efforts in three main areas: military, economic and political. The results achieved were, to say the least, disappointing. The quest for military victories brought a series of humiliating defeats.
The quest for economic development and prosperity brought, in some countries, corruption, inflation and poverty and, in others, unhealthy dependence on a single resource. The quest for freedom and independence brought to some countries dictatorships and tyrannies.
There was worse to come. The 21st century brought with it further humiliation and fragmentation of the Arab world. Arabs once again witnessed the return of foreign occupation, something they thought was a thing of the past and long forgotten.
It was bad enough for Arabs to feel poor and weak after being in a leading position for a long time, but worse still was the humiliation that accompanied the 21st century a humiliation that dealt a severe blow to the Arab ego.
There is a general awareness among Arabs that they are falling back in a lengthening line of more successful countries, especially in East Asia. The rise of some Third World countries was reproachful for those Arabs who became aware of their position and their current status vis-a-vis these countries.
Arabs, proud heirs of an ancient civilisation, have the right to question themselves: "Who did this to us?" Although there is no clear foe to blame, this question is, of course, a common response when things go wrong and there is no reasonable explanation.
In the past the Arabs laid the blame for their troubles and the loss of their glory on foreign domination - western powers that ruled over them for centuries. For a long time, the West was the favourite villain. Recently, however, the role of the West as a villain has been taken over by the U.S. alone.
The transfer of guilt to America has immediately won considerable support among Arabs who are eager to lay the blame on anybody but themselves.
However, many in the Arab world refuse the popular theory that the West is to blame. They believe that the Arabs should face up to their responsibilities and shoulder the blame for all their societal ills. What is the remedy for the Arabs' ills? Although many things have been tried, none have achieved desired results. Economic, political and social solutions were tried, but none was able to alleviate the hardship fallen upon the Arab world.
Foreign domination in the Arab world is a consequence not a cause.
The reason for this domination is clear: the absence of a collective policy which unites the Arabs rather than separates them.
If Arabs were wise enough to resolve all their own differences and benefit from their own resources and direct them towards the general welfare of their own people, there would hardly be any foreign domination.
Iraq is an example of how a political regime can endanger its own society and causes differences in the Arab world.
The former Iraqi regime involved itself in political gambles that endangered not only Iraq but also the whole Arab world.
The Baathists lived in a world of their own, removed from real life and the aspirations of their own people. They dragged their own country into a difficult and dangerous situation. The regime refused to listen to reason or good judgment, and pursued policies that had proved their worthlessness elsewhere in the world.
Although foreign interests played a decisive role in determining the destiny of Iraq, a wise leadership could have avoided such disastrous impacts. The failure of some Arab regimes to listen to reason is the real reason behind the Arab world's ills.
To regain their former greatness, the Arab regimes should adopt the authentic teachings of Islam and know the pulse of their people. They should also level up their policies vis-à-vis international and regional players.
Moreover, they should adopt a more realistic approach, based on discussing specific problems rather than hiding behind unreasonable explanations.
Most problems of the Arab world are easy to solve if Arabs have the power and determination to forget their own differences and work as a team. Japan provides a good example to follow. It emerged from the shambles of World War II to be one of the world's finest industrial nations. But do Arabs have the power and determination of the Japanese?
If the Arabs have the will, there will definitely be a way.
We can only hope that Japan's model is copied by Arabs. It will provide them with a fine example of how determination and merit can produce a miracle.
The writer is with the History Department, UAE University
Sorry doc ... but I'd suggest that this was the start of things.
As a man thinketh, so is he, and Islam is way too open allowing fanatical religionists to get the foothold.
I'm not an Islamic scholar, but hasn't the Muslim world been through this more than once?
It will be after they have been nuked. Twice.
No society can build itself up, while keeping half of its population enslaved.
I don't know if Mohammed hated women or not, I don't even know the real Islam teachings towards women, so much has been written.
But I do know that women threaten Arabic men, and I wonder if it doesn't just boil down to some deficiency inherent in Arabic men or something....cause they are truly backwards in their rules and dominance over females.
The Ottoman Empire ended after WWI. England hegemony over the area lasted until after WWII. Centuries? Maybe 30 years at a stretch.
More dope dreams from the "History" dept.
In reality, Arab glory ceased in the 17th century along with their domination over western lands.
ROFL, major keyboard damage. Reply of the Week in my book.
Islam, on the other hand, was founded on the fusion of political and spiritual control. Mohammed served as the link between the 'slaves of Allah' and Allah himself. In western parlance, he was both the Pope and the King. Islam is more than just a religion, it's a political device as well. The divine right of kings is law in Islam. So is the rights to own slaves, have multiple wives, and put non believers to the sword. In fact, it it not even considered permissible to ban these things, as man should not prohibit what Allah permits.
The Islamic faith may be advantageous in a low tech, medieval environment that spends a lot of time in combat. It is not competetive against modern civilizations. For their society to advance, they will have to either eliminate many of the core teachings of Mohammed, or discard Islam entirely. Otherwise, they are doomed. If they do not reform their society before the oil runs out, they will plummet to the status of Sub Saharan Africa.
Like I said - they lie to themselves.
And they're self-enslaved.
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